Just a few thousandths separated him from the front row, but that does not spoil his day. Despite the fourth best time, Andrea Dovizioso is confident as Saturday comes to an end. It may be true that Ducati will have to catch up, but the step forward that the rider from Forlì had hoped for was taken.
“I am very happy with this performance. My feeling with the tyres has improved, despite the poor grip. This morning we took a step forward, whereas in FP4 we worked on pace. Marquez in in another world, as is Pedrosa, but the other riders and I have a similar pace. I think this is an excellent result here at Aragón. Maybe I could have recovered a little more on the last corner, but the end result is positive.”
The tyres are a question mark.
“As for the tyres, we are all in the same situation and there is no solution. The important thing is to know how to adapt to what we have before us. It is very easy to crash because between turn 14 to turn 2 there is a long distance. Plus, with the cold in the morning, the tyre cools down.”
In the race what could happen with these Michelins?
“Tyre wear is an important aspect. A lot will also depend on the groups that are formed and if someone will want to push hard from the start, pulling the other riders along with him. So we will just have to wait and see.”
Hard or soft, that is the question.
“Marquez showed that he is competitive. However, with the low temperatures the soft is not necessarily better. In any case, this aspect will certainly affect the front.”
For Michele Pirro, instead, it was a bitter Saturday. His crash in Q1 forced the rider from Puglia to wave the white flag early.
“Unfortunately, it was not a great day for us. We ran into some hard luck and we also did not realize that the front was losing pieces. I had to take on Q1 and I ended up in the gravel on turn 8. I’m disappointed because we had other expectations. In the race I will be sure to redeem myself.”
What problems did you suffer?
“When I changed the bike and tyres in the morning, I felt some vibrations. I thought it was simply adaptation, but it got worse and worse. Despite my 1’49, I was always at the limit. I think I took the wrong approach to the qualifiers since yesterday I was too slow. I am sure that tomorrow we will be able to be more competitive.”
There were a lot of crashes. What do you think was the cause?
“To be honest, I wouldn’t know if the crashes were due to the asphalt temperature or not. Right now I am thinking about the race, trying to be fast in the first laps since the bike is capable of staying in the top ten.”
After FP3 did you have to change your plans?
“We made some changes, making the Ducati a bit smoother. However, that did not work out, plus the tyre from the morning complicated things even more.”